A meal from Uttaranchal with Gahat Daal, Kafuli , Mandua ki Roti and Jhagore ki Kheer

BM # 39
Day : 29
State : Uttaranchal

Picturesque state of Uttaranchal has a simple yet delectable cuisine. The food is extremely nutritious to suit the high energy requirements of the hilly and cold region. 

People of Uttaranchal basically take a vegetarian meal though mutton and chicken are also savored by many. Characteristic feature of the Kumouni cuisine is the sparing use of milk and milk based products. This is due to the geographical nature of the state as hill cows do not yield good quantity of milk. Rice is the staple food for the people of Uttaranchal.

Favorites of the Pahari people are the lentils. Locally grown bhatt (a variety of soya bean) and the rust brown gahat also called kulath are popularly relished. Large dried balls of urad dal, called badis and their smaller version prepared from moong dal is called mangodis .The mangodis are popular in Rajasthan too.

Also common is the use of coarse grain with high fibre content Mundua (Buck wheat) in the interior regions of Kumaun. Linguda grown on the borders of Tibet and Nepal is also a part of the Pahari cuisine as it helps to keep the stomach in order. They normally use Mustard oil or pure ghee for cooking, They use a spice called jhakia, which is similar to cumin seed.

On my trips to this state, I have enjoyed the street food in Hardwar , the food that is served on the stalls near the banks of Ganga ji, I have loved their dhaaba food , but even after umpteen visits have never tasted the Kumani cuisine. 

While on my search for these Kumani recipes, I realized that they consume the locally grown ingredients, which is actually apt for their hilly life style. Fortunately my sister in law stays in Hardwar, and her son is a foodie.I called him up to find about the locally grown ingredients.He quickly gave me the number of his friend who belonged to the Kumani region. This was a jackpot!, I called his friend who in return gave me his sister's number.(..we bloggers can go any lengths!!)Anita, yes that is her name , she guided me and gave me the perfect recipes for all the recipes that I am posting here.After I got the recipes she asked me if I would get the required ingredients in my state..before I could answer, she quickly offered to send a parcel of these. I gently declined and said my nephew would be able to do so, but Anita would not listen and she sent a parcel which included Gahat , Mandua ka Aatta and Jhangora..along with Jhakia . all the recipes were neatly written and sealed in an envelope.I dont have words to thank her. After we ate this meal I called her to tell that this was a real delicious meal and the credit went to her.

Mandua ki Roti
600 gms mandua flour
200 gms wheat flour
Water to bind the flour

Mix mandua  and wheat flour well.
Add water and prepare stiff dough.
Divide into even sized balls and roll out into chapatis.
Cook on slow fire on both sides.

Gahat ki Daal
300 gms gahat ( kulath )
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 small piece ginger
4 - 5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch asafoetida
50 gms rice powder
50 ml oil
Salt to taste

Wash the gahat and pressure cook the daal along with ginger, garlic, red chilly, coriander and salt.
This should require 1 whistle and about 10 mins of slow cooking.
Make sure the daal is cooked.
Add rice flour paste to the daal and cook. Further for 5 - 10 minutes.
Temper the gahat with cumin seed and asafoetida

Jhangore ki Kheer
500 gms jhangora
2 lts milk
200 gms sugar

Wash and soak Jhangora in water for 1 hour.
Boil milk.
Add Jhangora and stir well to avoid lumps.
Add sugar and cook till done.
Add kewara essence and mix well.
Garnish with Raisins, Cashewnuts, and Chironji

2 bunches spinach
1/2 bunch fenugreek leaves
2-3 green chillies
2 tb sp mustard oil
4-5 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger
1tsp cumin seed
pinch asafetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tb sp rice powder
2 tb sp curd
1-2 cups water
Salt to taste

Wash spinach and fenugreek leaves in running water.
Chop and boil both vegetables along with green chillies in a little water till tender.
Blend to make a paste.
Heat oil.
Add finely chopped ginger and garlic.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
Add the paste, turmeric powder,dry coriander and salt.
Add required amount of water to Kafuli and bring to boil. Now add rice paste or rice powder dissolved in water.
Cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on slow fire till the gravy is thick.
If dry add some water and boil.
Garnish with pure ghee and serve hot Kafuli.

The Gahat daal tasted somewhat like black daal, quite rich and delicious, the Kafuli was out of the world, I am not a green person, but this was something that I really relished.The Mandua roti complimented the meal, though if we had a regular tandoori roti I would have been okay with it too. The Jhangore ke Kheer was a version of rice kheer, slight difference in taste but quite pleasant, specially with the kewra flavor.

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